Joan Barreda emerged victorious thanks to a great tactical display in the third stage of the Rally Dakar 2017. The Spanish rider from the Monster Honda Energy Team stormed to an overwhelming victory and tops the general rankings in the process.

After two days where navigation was not an issue, the Dakar now ups the difficulty level and begins to show the differences in quality between the competitors. The opening stretches of the third stage played out off-piste with sand and tricky fords. The were even some trial-like tracks which left many of the less-skilled aspirants trailing behind. Later, the landscape began to resemble that of the previous stages as the route approached the neutralization section. The timed special restarted at over 3,500 metres in altitude and continued uphill all the way to Jujuy.

Shortly after setting off, Paulo Gonçalves managed to overtake the two adversaries who had started out ahead, the Portuguese rider opening the track until approximately the first waypoint. Gonçalves led the field from kilometre 30 to 180. Paulo crossed the line to post the fifth fastest time on the day.

But it was Joan Barreda who stole the show on today’s stage. The Spaniard rode the Honda CRF450 RALLY at a blistering pace, with flawless navigation, to romp home with a massive surplus over the pursuing pack. In addition to the day’s first prize ‘Bang Bang’ now commands at the top of the overall standings.

Frenchman Michael Metge, who dropped time yesterday to be able to accompany his team-mates, successfully clawed back the time to finish among the top fifteen on the day. American Ricky Brabec, proving very consistent thus far in the rally, placed in the top ten and establishes himself ninth overall.

The team now gets down to the preparations for the coming days that will feature the rally’s first dunes at altitude. Tomorrow’s stage concludes in the new camp at Tupiza, Bolivia’s first location in this edition of the Dakar.


TOMORROW’ STAGE

Thursday, January 5

STAGE 4 SAN SALVADOR DE JUJUY – TUPIZA
SELECTIVE SECTOR 416 km TOTAL 521 km
HIGH ALTITUDE DUNES
At around 3,500 metres, the Dakar will reach “a cruising altitude” of which competitors will have to navigate for six days. There are few that have already seen dunes at this altitude that will require an expert climbing technique. The co-drivers will have no time to relax, with a number of direction changes in the Bolivian section of the special stage.
Check the Stage 4 maps here.


Joan BarredaJoan Barreda  11

STAGE: 1ST , 4:22’41”  OVERALL: 1ST , 7:35’30”

Today has been a great day. I’m very pleased because today the plan that we had worked out turned out perfectly. It was a tough day, as I had to push really hard all day, stay really focused, not make any mistakes and give 100% in the area of navigation at the beginning. At the waypoint at kilometre 40 I circled around a bit until Ricky showed up and gave me some references to mark the waypoint. It went really well and error-free with a very fast pace.

Paulo GoncalvesPaulo Goncalves  17

STAGE: 5TH , +17’20  OVERALL, 3RD , +11’42

Today was a pretty long day with difficult riding and navigation. The first forty or fifty kilometres were tough and I came out opening the track on that part. I lost a bit of time looking for a waypoint, but I was able to continue and get through to the end without any problems. The important thing is that everything is fine for the stage tomorrow which is only the fourth of this long and difficult rally.

Ricky BrabecRicky Brabec  9

STAGE: 10TH , +25’16  OVERALL: 9TH , +24’13

Stage 3 was technical for everyone. Today I made a few mistakes. I was going a bit too fast in the dust and I came across a tree but at that speed I had to jump it. Luckily my front wheel and skid plate made it over just in time. I hit the other side with the wheel and blew the fender right off the bike. I don’t know exactly what went wrong with the bike but shortly after I pulled over. Svitko was coming right behind me but he crashed. I turned around and went backwards for him. By the time I got there he was getting up, so I parked the bike and repaired it and tried to make it to the finish.

Michael MetgeMichael Metge  15

STAGE: 13TH , +28’26  OVERALL: 15TH , +39’22

Today was the first day with complicated navigation. The first part had various waypoints – the new ones that were very difficult. There was a lot of dust but I got past plenty of riders. After we passed a WRC-style part and as we went up I started getting a bad headache. In the second section there were a lot of riders who were arriving late as there was a storm. If it hadn’t been for this, I would have had a good day, even so, I’m very happy for Joan and his stage victory.

Roberto BoassoRoberto Boasso

Team Manager

It has been a great day for the Monster Energy Honda Team. I’m happy with the all the work that the guys have done. Barreda had a marvellous stage. Paulo had a great special too, as did Ricky and Mika too. All of them did a great job. That is why I would like to congratulate them and thank all the team, the mechanics and the technical staff who have done such a great job after so many kilometres and so little sleep. We are very united and that is the strength of the team. Let’s keep it up.

2017 Dakar Rally
Stage Round DAK17 , Stage 3  

Stage 3 results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 BARREDA Joan 11 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 4:23’41
2 SUNDERLAND Sam 16 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +12’29
3 RENET Pierre-Alexandre 31 FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +15’30
4 QUINTANILLA Pablo 3 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +16’02
5 GONCALVES Paulo 17 POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +16’20
6 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 6 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +19’40
7 CAIMI Franco 67 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +20’09
8 FARRES Gerard 8 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +20’43
9 PRICE Toby 1 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +21’51
10 BRABEC Ricky 9 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +24’16
11 WALKNER Matthias 14 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +25’40
12 SVITKO Stefan 2 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +26’41
13 METGE Michael 15 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +27’26
14 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 23 FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +33’09
15 JAKES Ivan 20 SLO Jakes Dakar Team KTM +33’39
2017 Dakar Rally
Stage Round DAK17 , Stage 3  

Provisional Standings after Stage 3

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 BARREDA Joan 11 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 7:36’30
2 SUNDERLAND Sam 16 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +10’20
3 GONCALVES Paulo 17 POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +13’42
4 QUINTANILLA Pablo 3 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +14’56
5 PRICE Toby 1 AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +16’19
6 FARRES Gerard 8 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +22’00
7 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 6 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +23’07
8 RENET Pierre-Alexandre 31 FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +23’07
9 BRABEC Ricky 9 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +23’13
10 SVITKO Stefan 2 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +25’54
11 WALKNER Matthias 14 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +27’47
12 CAIMI Franco 67 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +28’30
13 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier 23 FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +31’18
14 PEDRERO Joan 12 SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +35’10
15 METGE Michael 15 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +38’22